Somerset

Woman raped after drink 'spiked' at Frome gig

Elinor Bell
Image caption Elinor Bell, 25, believes her drink was spiked and remembers nothing of the assault

A woman who woke up to find out she had been raped believes her drink was spiked at a gig.

Elinor Bell, 25, from Dorset, says she remembers nothing of the Fatboy Slim concert at the Cheese and Grain in Frome, Somerset, on 14 September.

A medical examination the following day revealed the mother-of-two had been raped and beaten. Police have so far been unable to find her attacker.

She has waived her right to anonymity in the hope of tracking down witnesses.

Avon and Somerset Police said they had kept DNA evidence on file but a witness appeal had drawn a blank.

Image copyright Elinor Bell
Image caption Mrs Bell says her neck and face were badly bruised in the attack

CCTV from the night shows Mrs Bell leaving the venue in Market Yard shortly before 23:30 GMT.

Police say they believe she went down King Street towards Market Street and was last caught on CCTV in the Kingsway centre at 23:30.

She disappears from view for 35 minutes before CCTV shows her getting into a taxi with two other women in nearby Cork Street at 00:05.

Cameras capture one passenger getting out at a junction in the middle of Frome and one being dropped off at the end of a road on the outskirts, but neither have been identified.

Mrs Bell believes they could hold key information about what happened to her.

'Something terrible'

The taxi took her to a friend's house where she woke in severe pain the next morning.

"I couldn't remember anything after about 21:45 and I never have that sort of blackout.

"I couldn't move my arm because my shoulder was in absolute agony, then my friend noticed bruising round my neck."

In the shower she realised her face and legs were also bruised and a tooth had come loose.

"That's when it hit home that something terrible had happened. My friend didn't remember anything past the same point either.

"The only explanation was that we'd both been spiked but she was taken home by a family friend. She was lucky."

Image copyright Elinor Bell
Image caption Mrs Bell took this photo shortly before her memory went blank

An examination at a sexual assault referral centre revealed she had been raped. She said she wants to warn others of the dangers of being spiked.

"Knowing he is still out there somewhere and more than likely in that area is one of the most worrying things," she added.

The Cheese and Grain said it was "shocked and saddened" to hear of the attack.

"The venue assisted the police as best it could with the investigation in providing details of the victim's arrival and departure from the venue," a spokeswoman said.

"CCTV showed her leaving the building on her own. She had been helped outside because she needed some fresh air.

"We take any matter concerning audience safety and security extremely seriously."

A police spokesman said: "The investigation has been completed and filed no further action, pending further evidence being provided to us.

"We do have DNA evidence available to us, so if anyone has information about this incident, or any suspicions about who may be responsible, please call us."

For details of organisations which offer advice and support, go to BBC Action Line.

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